Having tried to ski the Grand Teton a few times prior to 2005, and getting denied for one reason or another such as weather, snow conditions or just being tired and/or scared, I was pretty excited when another attempt came together with John Griber and Reed Finlay on March 11, 2005. Previously that season, Reed and I had skied the Hidden Couloir on Thor Peak (its second descent?) and I was feeling more confident in my abilities, thinking that my dream to ski the Grand Teton might finally come true.
Word got out that we were giving the Grand a go and some of the local production companies thought it would be a cool idea to get it all on film. Griber (TwelvePointMedia.com) was a budding high-altitude cinematographer at the time and willingly carried the bulky and heavy HD camera and documented the trip on route, while a few others congregated on the Middle Teton Glacier with bar-b-que lenses getting footage from a distance.
I remember what an effort it was, walking like a zombie in the early morning hours, trying to stay warm and motivated. But the warmth of the sun gave us all renewed strength and focus, and we pushed to the top. The snow conditions were a little like mash potatoes (as Griber alludes to at 7:50 in the video), which was challenging skiing considering the effort and the lighter weight gear of the day.
Big thanks to Jason Winkler from Wink Inc. and Darrel Miller of Stormshow Studio for letting me post this footage, which was originally made for the Rush HD television series “Nomads” (Wink Ink) and “Falling Forward”, which I think of course is one of Stormshow’s best movies. Hope you enjoy the video. I know I enjoyed the day…and will remember it for the rest of my life.